Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 4 days / week, 8 hours / day


The second module of 11.207/11.208, Introduction to Computers in Public Management, will consist of four days of lectures and laboratory exercises. There will be a single homework assignment. This course will acquaint you with additional computer-based methods that are becoming widely used in the planning world. Specifically, you will learn how to build and use databases (data input and output, querying, and relational database design) and create clear, factual maps from demographic data. We will teach these by means of numerous examples and hands-on experience. Through class discussions and guest lectures, we will also engage your thinking on the issues and competence involved in analyzing large volumes of tabular and geographic data to address real world planning questions or issues. You should work individually on the exercises and turn in the maps and lab assignments to the lab monitors. If we are short machines and some of you have to work in pairs, be sure that each of you spends some time controlling the mouse/keyboard while the group does the exercise! For the homework set, small-group discussion of the concepts and general procedures needed for the homework questions is okay (and encouraged). But each individual must turn in their own individual homework set based on 'hands-on' work that they did personally. Timely completion of the problem set is required to avoid any reduction in the homework set grade.


Grades will be based on a combination of completed Lab Exercises and the final Problem Set. The Lab Exercises are designed as hands-on learning opportunities to be completed during the lab sessions. Each completed lab exercise counts toward the course grade. The Problem Set will be posted by Friday of the first week. Students will have approximately one week to submit answers. Problem Set grades are based on correct answers as well as presentation (i.e., map design).

Collaboration Policy

We will try to provide each student with an individual computer on which to work during the labs. In some cases, students may be required to double up on one computer. In these cases, we encourage sharing the effort as much as possible. Regardless, students are expected to submit their own individual lab assignments and final homework. However, during lab exercises we do encourage students to discuss the questions and collaborate on solving the problems. For the homework set, group discussion of the concepts and procedures needed for the homework questions is okay (and encouraged). You will also find that discussing homework problems with others is usually more useful than doing it all on your own. But you must turn in you own individual homework set based on 'hands-on' work that you did personally. If we find that your explanations are exactly like someone else's you will have to share the points on that problem!